I believe that the #1 job of a CEO is to create more leaders. A business can only grow as fast as the people who lead it grow. To do this, you need to actively build the leadership skills. The CEOs primary job is to make sure that the senior management team are all A-players and then hold them accountable to measurable outcomes. There are always times when the CEO is doing too much. It takes conscious choice as CEO to build leadership so that you can step back to look at the bigger strategic picture and vision for your business by delegating most tasks to your team.
Here is how I recommend you go about creating the leaders you need:
Hire A-Players. Only hire A-players to begin with. Use a proven process like TopGrading so that 80% of the time you are hiring the right people (versus the average of 20%).
Functional Accountability. Have you ever had a major area of your business with no one in charge? Or two people in charge of one functional area? In either case, no one is accountable for making sure things happen. More importantly there is no one in charge when things inevitably go wrong. Make sure that one and only one member of your management team is accountable for each functional area.
Drive By the Numbers. We are human. As humans we are social. As social beings we connect through stories. The problem is that they are just stories. Real results are driven by numbers. Each member of your executive team needs to own a handful of numbers, making sure that those numbers change according to your plan. There is no hiding when you become data driven.
Coaching. As CEO, you need to help each member of your team set their growth goals. You need to be there to help them over the challenges of that growth. Mentoring, facilitating, and coaching are required to grow your next leaders. Each of your management team then need to be doing the same with their first reports.
High growth companies need to be creating the next leaders before they need them. That is how you make sure that your growth takes you to new heights, rather than killing you.
Don’t see the sunset of your business. What are you doing today to grow your next set of leaders?